DR M.A. ANSARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR M.A. ANSARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Autoimmune disease. Female patient with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease that results in muscle weakness, which fluctuates with activity and rest. The patient's eyelid muscles are noticably affected. The body's immune system attacks and damages the nerve signal receptors in the patient's muscles, which impairs the ability of nerves to cause muscle contraction. There are several treatments available to help manage the disease, including drugs which improve neurotransmitter transmission, and carrying out a thymectomy (removal of the thymus gland), which is thought to re-balance the immune system. The reason for the autoimmune attack is unknown.
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